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Syrians Fear Russian, Regime Retalliation After U.S. Strike

Civilians voice concern over increased air campaigns against residential areas as witnesses report white phosphorus attacks in the hours after the U.S. cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base, opposition website Alsouria Net writes
Syrians Fear Russian, Regime Retalliation After U.S. Strike

Areas under opposition control are fearing possible revenge attacks by the Assad regime and Russia after the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base in the Homs countryside on Friday.

Activists have expressed concern over possible escalation from regime and Russian airplanes in heavily populated areas of Idleb and northern Hama.

Ahmad Hassan, a media activist, told Alsouria Net that he was relieved at news of the U.S. action, but sees that "the strike was not as big as was hoped in order to end [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad's crimes."

He added that the Shayrat air base which was targeted by U.S. missiles is only one of several sites that the regime uses to kill the civilians.

Shams Aldeen Matoun, an activist who was deported from Moadamiyah to Idleb, shared the same view in comments to Alsouria Net. "The regime and Russia," he said, "will not stop continuing to target civil areas after the last strike.”

He added that sarin gas is not the only weapon that is used to kill Syrian civilians, explaining that missiles and barrel bombs are equally as damaging.

A statement by the Syrian military vowed to step up its strikes on "terrorists" in the aftermath of the U.S. action, according to SANA.

The journalist Omar Haj Ahmad, said that the regime's first retaliation came hours after the strike. He said regime warplanes bombed a number of areas using white phosphorus, which is banned under international law, leading to the deaths of 10 civilians and the destruction of a medical center.

Another journalist, Suhayb al-Khalaf, said that fears have become a reality and that Russia "will defy the United States by targeting innocent Syrian civilians."

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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